Keeping traffic moving remains key focus for Hampshire’s Brexit preparations

Hampshire County Council, with its partners, continues to review its preparations for the UK’s EU exit and the impact this might have on Hampshire.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said:

For some time now, we have been preparing for any potential adverse impact on the delivery of the County Council’s services. This has involved us working with our public and private sector partners to develop robust contingency plans, based on the latest intelligence.

We know that the biggest risk to Hampshire is the potential for traffic to back up on the road network caused by HGVs having to wait to access Portsmouth International Port, as a result of their documentation not being ‘border ready’. This is why, the Operation Transmission plan has been developed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum (LRF), of which we are a lead member, to identify and prepare sites for HGVs to wait, in a safe and managed way.

One of the most important aspects of the Operation Transmission plan is to ensure it remains scalable to accommodate any further changes. Recently, we received new information from Government with the latest national planning assumptions for EU-bound freight traffic, and this highlighted the fact that up to 75% of lorries may not be border ready..

Consequently, we are now exploring a number of options as part of Operation Transmission to provide additional capacity to hold HGVs until their documentation is fully compliant, enabling them to cross the channel. The focus on mitigating congestion also includes establishing locations for ‘pop-up’ sites where HGV documentation can be checked en route to Hampshire and the Port to speed up the transit process. These are already operating in other parts of the country and proving to be very effective. The risk of traffic congestion and delays is expected to diminish over time as more HGVs arrive ‘border-ready’”.

Councillor Humby continued:

We are very fortunate in Hampshire to have strong and robust partnership arrangements in place to respond to such challenging situations. Whilst the outcome of the Brexit process remains uncertain, I would like to reassure residents that we are working together to do everything possible to keep traffic flowing and ensure access to supplies and services can continue.

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